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(Page 19 of 163)
Features

New Jersey Devils fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Cory Schneider

The New Jersey Devils goalie is the only Devil in my offseason top-200 rankings and he comes in as the ninth best goalie at No. 53 among all players. If he played on a better team, Schneider would have the potential to be a top five fantasy goalie. Schneider's 68 starts ranked third in the NHL last season, his .925 save percentage ranked fifth and his 2.26 goals-against average was ninth. Over the past three seasons among goalies that have played in at least 100 games, Schneider has a League-best 2.14 GAA and is third with a .924 save percentage (behind Tuukka Rask and Carey Price). Simply put, Schneider is elite. He just won't get you many wins.

Wild, North Stars alumni to face Blackhawks outdoors

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 4:52 PM / 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - Hawks vs. Wild

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- If there was ever going to be a scuffle at an alumni game, the one between the Chicago Blackhawks and the "Team Minnesota" squad comprised of legends from the Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Wild might just provide it.

Blackhawks alumni along with those of the North Stars and Wild will play a game on Feb. 20, 2016, one day before the current franchises take part in the Coors Lights NHL Stadium Series game at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

"I don't have to hype it because it comes naturally," said Lou Nanne, former North Stars player, coach and general manager. "In 1984 or '85, we had some owners who were trying to get away from divisional rivalries saying, 'Let's play each other less.' [Blackhawks owner] Bill Wirtz stood up and said, 'Give me 40 games against the North Stars and I'll take them.'

"We've had such a passionate rivalry and it means so much. I think it's appropriate that these two teams are playing the first outdoor NHL game here."

Hickey working to stay on Canada's radar for WJC

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 4:22 PM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Brandon Hickey doesn't feel any different from the other 38 players in attendance at Canada's national junior team summer development camp.

But the outgoing defenseman from Boston University does hold one unique trait.

He's the lone collegiate invite.

"It's a pretty neat experience," said Hickey at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. "There's obviously a lot of great players in college and it's pretty awesome being the only one here right now. It just proves I'm doing what I need to be doing on the ice."

Hockey Canada would agree. And Hickey's path won't hamper his ability to earn another invite to Canada's selection camp in December.

"Our guys do their homework," said Dave Lowry, who is looking to coach Canada to a second straight gold medal after serving as an assistant on the team that won in 2015. "They evaluate him. He's a very good player. Like I said to him, this is the first opportunity I've had to watch him play and he's here for a reason. He's here to challenge for a spot. Like we always say, it doesn't matter where they come from, if they're Canadian and deserve a chance they'll get one."

'Relentless' Wild owner secured Stadium Series date

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 4:10 PM / 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - Hawks vs. Wild

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- For years, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold has pestered NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for a chance to host an outdoor game in Minnesota.

Leipold became so insistent, Bettman joked Wednesday that he had to change his cell phone number.

"He was utterly relentless for an outdoor game for his team and this community," Bettman said.

Bettman, Leipold and several Wild players and front office personnel were at TCF Bank Stadium Wednesday to unveil the logo for the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game to be played here between the Wild and Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 21, 2016.

While the Blackhawks will be participating in their fourth outdoor game since 2009, the Wild will be playing their first.

Red Wings prospects well represented at WJC camp

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 2:01 PM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Centers Dylan Larkin and Axel Holmstrom are representing different countries during the United States National Junior Development Camp, but they might one day be teammates with the Detroit Red Wings.

U.S. National Junior Team center Larkin, a first-round pick (No. 15) in the 2014 NHL Draft, and Sweden's Holmstrom, a seventh-round pick (No. 196) in 2014, are two of six Detroit prospects at camp this week. Center Dominic Turgeon (2014, No. 63) joins Larkin for the United States and Christoffer Ehn (2014, No. 106) joins Holmstrom for Sweden. Forward Julius Vahatalo (2014, No. 166) and defenseman Vili Saarijarvi (2015, No. 73) represent Finland.

"The credit goes to our amateur scouts; they've done a tremendous job drafting players we feel all have the potential to be NHL players one day," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said.

Young defensemen give Hurricanes some optimism

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

It's been a bleak stretch for the Carolina Hurricanes, one of two teams that have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 2010s. Carolina has advanced to the postseason twice in the past 10 seasons; 2006, when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup (defeating the Edmonton Oilers in their last playoff appearance), and 2009, when it reached the Eastern Conference Final.

Carolina finished last in the Metropolitan Division in 2014-15 with 71 points; the Hurricanes' playoff hopes were largely doomed by an 0-6-2 start. Most of their problems came on offense: The Hurricanes were 27th in the NHL with 183 goals; center Eric Staal was the only Carolina player to score more than 20 goals and finish with more than 50 points (23, 54).

The Hurricanes realize the challenge ahead if they are to return to the playoffs, but here are four reasons for optimism:

Skinner, Eric Staal among Hurricanes questions

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The Carolina Hurricanes have a big hill to climb if they hope to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.

The Hurricanes are coming off a season when they finished last in the Metropolitan Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference and 26th in the NHL. They were among the League's lowest-scoring teams, and their playoff hopes were essentially gone before the first month of the season ended after a 0-6-2 start in October.

It was a nightmarish first season for general manager Ron Francis and coach Bill Peters, and with several teams in the conference making major improvements this offseason, avoiding a seventh consecutive non-playoff season won't be easy.

Here are three questions facing the Hurricanes this season:

Hanifin, Fleury among Hurricanes' top five prospects

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The Carolina Hurricanes' pool of young talent received a big boost at the 2015 NHL Draft.

General manager Ron Francis had the fifth pick in the first round and wound up with the consensus No. 1 defenseman, Noah Hanifin, who excelled in his freshman season at Boston College. Francis wasted little time getting Hanifan's signature on a contract during development camp last month.

Hanifin joins a prospect pool that's already deep on defense but thinner in scoring punch. Most of the Hurricanes' top young players are defensemen, though 2015 second-round pick Sebastian Aho, a right wing, turned heads at development camp.

Here are the Hurricanes' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Hurricanes seek more offense to make playoff push

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

The Carolina Hurricanes' hopes of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs ended almost before last season had begun. An 0-6-2 October under new coach Bill Peters proved to be too deep of a hole, and Carolina finished 27 points out of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Hurricanes haven't made a lot of changes this offseason, but they're hopeful the ones they have made will help them generate enough offense, especially at even strength, to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Carolina Hurricanes fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Eric Staal

For the second consecutive season, Staal was a bit of a disappointment to his fantasy owners. After scoring 61 points in 79 games in 2013-14, Staal regressed with 54 points in 77 games last season. He's 30 years old, so there's reason to believe he can revert back to his old form, but the issue that remains constant is the lack of offensive firepower surrounding him in Carolina. Either way, Staal is capable of being a solid contributor in all categories except plus/minus and should be targeted sometime after round six (he's ranked 75th in my offseason rankings).

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener
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